Protein Myth Uncovered: Are Protein Foods Expensive?

Four Protein Superfoods That Are Frequently Ignored

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India Protein Paradox, Protein 101
August 7, 2020

Right To Protein Team

Protein Myth Uncovered: Are Protein Foods Expensive?

It wasn’t a long time ago that the rising price of onions in India had become content for outrage as well as creative memes on the internet. Every year we seem to witness food prices rising without a corresponding increase in our income. In the effort to reduce the household expenses, food expenses are closely monitored, and we tend to cut corners to avoid over-spending. A recent Indian Consumer Market 2020 report suggested that in urban areas, beverages, refreshments and processed foods account for the highest monthly expenditure, while the same position is occupied by cereals in rural households; Indians spend only one-third of their food budgets on protein-rich foods.

Interestingly, these statistics find resonance in an EAT-Lancet report that states Indians consume more carbohydrates than they actually need, while grossly under-consuming protein. This may be an indication of why India is protein deficient – an issue that needs to be addressed with urgency.

To understand why Indian households aren’t consuming adequate quantities of quality protein, the Right To Protein initiative commissioned a study across 16 cities, surveying over 2000 Indian mothers – the primary decision-makers of a household’s nutrition intake. The study ratifies that protein finds the least representation in the daily diets of most Indian households. One startling reason for this is that Indian mothers have fallen victim to myths around protein that have been perpetuated over time like old wives’ tales!

Nearly 81% of the surveyed mothers believed that the regular Indian diet of dal, roti and rice is enough to fulfil daily protein requirements. Coupled with another prevalent myth that quality protein foods are expensive, it is no surprise that Indian homes tend to ignore protein as they budget their food expenses.

What further complicates this situation is that most Indian mothers don’t know their key sources of protein! During the study, majority mothers were unable to correctly identify protein-rich products presented to them – sources like soy, cheese, peanut butter, meat and seafood were incorrectly identified as being low in protein, while rice, fruits and roti were incorrectly perceived of being rich in protein! As a result, protein purchasing, and consumption remain limited to pulses and dairy alone.

So, it’s time to set the record straight.

Not all quality protein food sources are expensive! Non-meat protein sources like legumes, nuts and soy are good affordable choices to boost protein intake; chicken and eggs are the non-vegetarian counterparts in this regard. Seeds like pumpkin, sunflower and poppy seeds are also good sources of plant protein with a range of additional health benefits and are easily available in the market.

Adding protein-rich foods to your diet doesn’t have to break the bank! Whether you eat animal-based protein, plant-based protein, or both, once you have a target goal for your protein intake each day, you can set a protein budget (both for your diet and wallet) and opt for high protein foods that are suitable for you.

Need a useful tool to help you plan your food budget for the week? Check out our Protein Index! Knowing your protein-rich whole foods sources before-hand will be incredibly useful in keeping expenditure – and proper nutrition intake – in check for a healthier tomorrow.

Protein-O-Meter

The amount of protein you need depends on your weight, goals, and lifestyle. Protein-O-Meter will take your body-composition and activity level into account to estimate your protein needs. Start with the number given by the calculator, see how that makes you feel, and try adjusting your protein level up or down to see what amount makes you feel good and perform well!

Protein Index

Find out all about whole foods that are protein heroes! Achieve your fitness goals by finding out just how much protein you should incorporate to stay nourished.

Protein-O-Meter

The amount of protein you need depends on your weight, goals, and lifestyle. Protein-O-Meter will take your body-composition and activity level into account to estimate your protein needs. Start with the number given by the calculator, see how that makes you feel, and try adjusting your protein level up or down to see what amount makes you feel good and perform well!

Protein Index

Find out all about whole foods that are protein heroes! Achieve your fitness goals by finding out just how much protein you should incorporate to stay nourished.

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